Aug 21, 2013

Make a Badass Photo in Photoshop Pt.2

Making a Photo Badass

Welcome to Part 2 of this edit. If you missed part one, be sure to check it out here.

Badass is kind of hard to define. Most of the time you know it when you see it, but there are some tricks to getting the look that you want.

Here is a short list of things that can help your photo be more badass:

  • Subject Material – You are going to have a hard time making a dandelion look badass. Choose a subject that people already feel is badass and you will be on your way. Here are a few things you can try on for size. Motorcycles (obviously), Death Metal, Lightning, Stormy Skies, Lens Flares, Patent Leather, Skin tight pants, The American Flag, Guns, a file hidden in a cake, pitt bulls, shaved heads, fast cars, machined aluminum, anything LOUD, and bacon.
  • Lighting – You are going to want a lot of points of light in your image. Here we have a sun and the headlight of a motorcycle, both accented by rain.
  • Editing – Make sure to limit your colors to dark moody tones and colored highlights. Don’t go too crazy with this effect, just enough to get the mood across.
  • Make Badass Friends – Find someone who is already badass and ask then what they think would be cool. Then do it.


user image You
(will not be published)

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    Ofir Abe

    very glad you enjoyed my shot and called it BAD ASS 🙂
    don’t be shy to check out

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    Iván Varretto Esquivel


    I just want to know your opinion on this statements that are driving me crazy

    “Once you change an image it ceases to be a photograph, even if all you do is sharpen it.”

    “Resorting to Photoshop tricks just means you’re not a good enough photographer to actually capture the image.”

    “Let’s say you take a photograph and manipulate it in some software program. If the end result is 50% photograph and 50% manipulation, you are only half the photographer you think you are.”

    If you can comment on one on your videos, please, I watch them all.


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      Ansel Adams manipulated his images in a darkroom – So are these people saying that he wasn’t a photographer?
      After all, Photoshop is just a digital version of a darkroom, but on steroids.
      In my experience people who knock Photoshop either don’t know how to use it, or can’t afford it.

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    Bruno Delzant

    After looking at these two excellent episodes, I apply some techniques to one of my latest image.
    What do you think about it ?

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    Nick Li

    Hey Aaron thx for this awesome tutorial!(mainly for a new color grading method!)

    I don know if you may have noticed, if you double click the layer mask,

    its properties panel will be up and there’s a feather option there, this may give you more flexibility if you want to adjust your vignette.

  • user image

    Something I was able to do only after watching your video, thanks for the help. I added a reflection and rain drop splashes to mine as well. Enjoy

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    This tutorial opened the door for me to enhance my storytelling in street photography. I tried for a more illustration or comic type styling and without the effects this tutorial showed it would not have turned out nearly the same. Thank you team Phlearn!